Another not quite lost, but almost found piece, one not written in workshop. When I made my first working foray into our garden after Marley’s passing, I found a mess, and a prompt. I have to confess that this picture is only an approximation–I was too appalled to take a photo at the time. Too appalled, too overwhelmed, and too sorry that my avoidance had neglected this spot that might have brought consolation. But we writers, well, we write about things. I fled to my computer and drafted this poem. The next day, I was ready to tackle the weeds.

Here’s what I wrote, that day. Reading it now, I see myself. I see the garden. And, I see Marley.

Tomorrow it’s a year.
I stand in bright air,
in this long, skinny garden
between our houses.
I’ve almost learned a new name for your house
but not for the garden
or for its headlong tumble down the hill.
Ground ivy and virginia creeper swarm everywhere,
determined to defeat the sweet woodruff’s dreams of dominance.
Already the iris need thinning, and the grasses from your cousin
are shoulder to shoulder.
Errant cardinal vine swans the roses and sneaks in the upstairs window.
I stand in your bright air, but where are those weeding fingers?

I almost see you, surrounded b the spirits of children,
rehearsing the scenes they’ll play
on their next visits to this world,
teaching them solid ways, and
taking a break to laugh down at me.
Thank you for that, but
what I really need
is a damn good weeder.

These days, the garden looks better than eight years ago. But I’m still waiting for the stealth weeder who slips out at daybreak and spirits away the ground ivy.